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LCD v LED v Plasma, lots of choices!


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   DrSteve

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Posted February 26 2011 - 01:37 AM

It looks like our TV may be dying.  We currently have a rear projection.  I know there are likely a gazillion web opinions out there, but HTF offers real peoples' opinions.

Main use will be TV, DVD, perhaps hooked up to the computer for video.  NO gaming.  About 50" display with abudget around $1500 (very flexible for the right display).  Our room is not optimal for lighting so with our RPTV we often have to close the curtains.  So a good non-glare screen would be a requirement (our RPTV claims to have had the best on the market...it was terrible!)


So here are my q's:

  • LCD vs LED vs Plasma...we will be looking for about 50" screen.
  • Are there any brands deemed more reliable than others?  BJs and Walmart etc all have brands I have never heard of, but they are cheaper.  I don't believe in throw away tech, but I would rather buy 3 displays over 10 years than a singe one lasting for 10 years for the same price...technology advances!
  • Any suggestions on TV's to look at?  In the store they all of course have their brightness etc., way up and often in darker areas...this is where suggestions come into play!
  • Finally, are there any out there now which can hook up to a home network and play stuff from a networked PC?
  • Is 3D worth considering at this time?  We got suckered into buying an HD OTA tuner when we bought last time, only to end up with every cable provider offering HD.
Thank you everyone for indulging these questions!


Steve



#2 of 9 OFFLINE   CB750

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Posted February 26 2011 - 05:25 AM

While I don't always agree with Consumer Reports ratings on many products they do cover and rate many of the current TV's on the market.  You also have to understand that many of us will be loyal to a particular brand over others.


  • LCD vs LED vs Plasma...we will be looking for about 50" screen.
       View and form your own opinion.  In today's models I don't think any have a clear cut advantage.  CR will provide some information.


  • Are there any brands deemed more reliable than others?  BJs and Walmart etc all have brands I have never heard of, but they are cheaper.  I don't believe in throw away tech, but I would rather buy 3 displays over 10 years than a singe one lasting for 10 years for the same price...technology advances!
        Only a few company's actually make the various displays so many of the components from brand to brand are the same.  CR does     post brand ratings. But it does appear the bigger players seem to have reliable sets.  One thing to be aware of large sellers like Walmart, Sam's club and Costo sometimes will have large manufactures like Sony, Samsung and others make up special runs of TV's for them with scaled down features that they sell for lower prices.  You can tell these as they will have different slightly different product numbers. As far as other cheaper off brands you get what you pay for but do you see any flat panel with a totally bad picture.


  • Any suggestions on TV's to look at?  In the store they all of course have their brightness etc., way up and often in darker areas...this is where suggestions come into play!
You are on your own because the stores will tend to adjust brightness higher than you would a home. I would stick with the big makers.


  • Finally, are there any out there now which can hook up to a home network and play stuff from a networked PC?
You can connect your PC to your TV with a HDMI and it becomes your monitor.  However the better way to make the connection would be with a HDMI cable to your receiver as both video and audio will be passed to the receiver.


  •  Is 3D worth considering at this time?  We got suckered into buying an HD OTA tuner when we bought last time, only to end up with every cable provider offering HD.
That is up to you as you will pay more for a 3D set.  I viewed two different demos and was not impressed and wouldn't want to wear those stupid glasses.


You didn't mention the rest of your current set up, but all of the flat panels sold today come with lousy speakers.  In today's HT set up a modern receiver becomes the hub of your system where all of your equipment is connected together.   This will minimize the number of cables connected to your TV your AC power source and one HDMI Cable.  Under this arrangement you TV becomes nothing more than a monitor unless you view local broadcast TV stations.



#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted February 26 2011 - 05:42 AM

Your room sounds like a good candidate for LCD or LED for the extra brightness.


According to the recent Consumer Reports TV issue, the flat panels are all very reliable except Mitsubishi, Westinghouse and Polaroid. Definitely avoid these 3.


I think 3D is going to be another big flop.


I just bought a new TV about 2 weeks ago and I love it. It's the Toshiba 55HT1U, if a 55" is not too big for you. There are no 50" LCD's by the way. It's price is reduced now because it's a 2010 model and it's a great deal. I paid $949, and it included a free "LG 530" Blu-ray player. It's worth looking into if anyone has it near you.





#4 of 9 OFFLINE   DrSteve

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Posted February 26 2011 - 08:11 AM

My AV system is a Pana solid state receiver/amp, with Mirage Omni's for the LR and Center and some older Energy for the rear channels.  Velodyne sub.


The amp is not as nice for music as my Marantz which lost its center chanel, but it is not bad at all and it is really very nice for movies.


CB750 - I felt conned when we got our RPTV, we got the full Mitsu version rather than the Best Buy, $500 cheaper model.  The extra we paid for those "full features" was so not worth it!



#5 of 9 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 26 2011 - 09:18 AM

Steve,


Welcome to the forum.


Everyone is going to have their own personal preferences

as to which type of display is better.


My personal opinion may not particularly fit your bill.


I will always recommend plasma.  I think it provides the

most film-like picture and deepest black levels.  If you

are even remotely considering 3D, plasma is the

technology to consider since it has higher refresh rates.


The problem with plasma is reflection.  You will get far

more reflection from those displays than LCD and LED.

If you are comfortable continuing to draw the shades, then

plasma is worth considering.


You also get better viewing angles with plasma.


3D?  Some will tell you that they think it's gonna flop.

Though I tend to be pessimistic about many things, 3D

is not one of them.  I am highly enjoying 3D on my plasma

and looking at the amount of 3D theatrical this year, I see

a lot more product on the way.  The sales of 3D displays

have picked up which is quite promising.  The only problem

with 3D is the expense.  You may pay a little more for a

3D ready display, but probably even more for enough glasses

for everyone.


Reliable brands?   Panasonic, LG, Samsung and Sony in

almost that order.  Panasonic definately for plasma.

Let us know how your display shopping goes and be sure

to post a review here.  Good luck to you.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#6 of 9 OFFLINE   tfryerje

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Posted February 26 2011 - 02:35 PM

LCD all the way they last longer look great and do not have the problems the plasmas have plus a better cost. I can say i recently went and looked at teles myself and that Aquos tv is a very nice tele the Sony looked like butt next to it. Sharp, Panasonic, Zenith, Samsung, LG are all making very fine products at this point, This is five years of former furniture and electronics store employment talking... Christ im glad im a teacher now.



#7 of 9 OFFLINE   dmiller68

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Posted February 26 2011 - 03:29 PM

I have had DLP, LCD and now my first Plasma. I have have Mits, Visio, Sony and now Panasonic. Mits has been the worse and I will never own another. I have had no issues with the other 3 brands. I just bought my latest TV for my theater which is a Pana 65" VT25. While not in your budget is an amazing TV and I think 3D is too cool. Although I think it is early to know if it is going to make it. I haven't noticed any glare issues with the Plasma but it hasn't been to sunny lately. ;)


I own the following TV's today


  • Pana 65" VT25 (by far an amazing and the best picture)
  • Sony 55" LCD
  • Visio 37" LCD
  • Visio 32" LCD

Equipment: Panasonic TC-P65VT25, Panasonic DMP-BDT100, Pioneer Elite SC-37, TiVo Premiere XL, Limited Edition MW3 XBOX 360s with Kinect, Apple TV
Speakers: Definitive Technology Mythos XTR60 (3), Definitive Technology Mythos XTR20BP (4), Definitive Technology SuperCube II


#8 of 9 OFFLINE   DrSteve

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Posted February 27 2011 - 03:36 AM

For the right TV the price of the VT25 isn't unreasonable, theGT series also reviewed well and was way cheaper.  VT20 could be an option.  FOr now...I have to wait until our RPTV shows more signs of dying, but by then I will know what to go out and buy!



#9 of 9 OFFLINE   dmiller68

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Posted February 27 2011 - 04:14 AM



Originally Posted by DrSteve 

For the right TV the price of the VT25 isn't unreasonable, theGT series also reviewed well and was way cheaper.  VT20 could be an option.  FOr now...I have to wait until our RPTV shows more signs of dying, but by then I will know what to go out and buy!


The VT30 will be out in May per what I have read. Only a few minor improvements, finding the larger VT25's is tough. Most places have sold out already.


Equipment: Panasonic TC-P65VT25, Panasonic DMP-BDT100, Pioneer Elite SC-37, TiVo Premiere XL, Limited Edition MW3 XBOX 360s with Kinect, Apple TV
Speakers: Definitive Technology Mythos XTR60 (3), Definitive Technology Mythos XTR20BP (4), Definitive Technology SuperCube II